Archive for June 6th, 2011

The Practicalities of Discussing Settlement with a Bank

For many weeks, I’ve been in the midst of trying to resolve numerous foreclosure cases with one particular client.  We have several cases pending, including commercial cases and residential ones.  It’s with a big, national bank.   

I’ve gotten this bank to the point where they’re willing to discuss deficiency waivers, which is basically the client’s goal.  So that’s good, especially since there are millions of dollars at stake.  But here’s the hangup. 

The client wants to include the residential cases as part of a global settlement.  And the person running the commercial cases for the bank, as well as the bank’s commercial lawyers, want to do so as well.  It’s totally reasonable to do so – if we’re going to settle big, commercial cases, we might as well do the residential ones, too.  But nobody with the bank can get anyone from the bank’s residential department, or the lawyers on the residential cases, on the phone.  And this has gone on for two weeks now!  The point person for the bank’s commercial department acknowledges the problem, even saying she has nobody with whom she can communicate; that she is relegated to calling the bank’s 800 number. 

I don’t know if this is sadly ironic, pathetic, or both.  Here we have both sides who want to agree on a deal, resolving millions of dollars in dispute, but the bank’s residential department is so disorganized, and its lawyers so apathetic and impossible to communicate with, that this is holding up a resolution.

Insert your own insults in the comments.

Mark Stopa

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